Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Journey at the Dentist

With all the stuff going on in my life the last thing I really need is a dentist appointment. To be perfectly honest it really wouldn't matter if life was sailing smoothly, the dentist is NOT my favorite thing.

Dave's insurance benefits might just end in March so I really needed to get one more crown done before I lost that option. With the price of crowns being what it is there's not much chance I'll get this done without insurance so Dave made me an appointment.

The stress starts for me the moment the appointment is made. Just the thought of going to the dentist can make me sweat. For some reason this time, the prospect of a dentist appointment made me sick to my stomach. I was beginning to wonder if I'd even make this appointment.

I try to remind myself this particular dentist is as OK in my book as a dentist can be. She is kind and has small hands which are of big importance to me. While some might think I have a big mouth, I actually have a very small one. My face is narrow so my mouth is small and I'm told my teeth are tiny. Most dentists have trouble getting their hands in my mouth and they really have trouble adjusting a crown as small as the ones I need.

As you can imagine big hands not only do damage by tearing the corners of my mouth but they make that feeling I am being suffocated grow exponentially. I am thankful for this petite dentist with her tiny hands even if I do still want to run.

I managed to get through not one appointment but two. Today I had the permanent crown seated. I would say it was relatively painless but the fact is the injection of Novocaine was horrible. It took all the restraint I could muster to keep myself in the chair.

Once I start an appointment off in that manner, it's tough to keep myself present for the rest of the procedure. Hanging from the ceiling watching myself be "tortured" in the chair is easiest....... even though I understand this really isn't torture.

The problem is it triggers flashbacks of torture. I just can't seem to get myself through a dentist appointment without some kind of memory flooding my brain. Today, it was the sounds of tortured children screaming in despair.

I didn't want to see their faces. I told myself I didn't need to go there. Instead I tried to focus on the crown and where the darn thing was hitting so the dentist could adjust my bite. I'm sure she must have wondered where I was because I was having trouble keeping myself on task. Those voices were more powerful than hers.

I was glad when the adjustments were over and I could flee. The voices followed me, however, until the Novocaine finally wore off sometime this afternoon. I can't help but wonder how Novocaine is somehow a trigger for me.


Marj aka Thriver said...

Compared to how I've been avoiding the dentist for the last couple of years, I think you are doing great! Kudos to you for getting through it. I think you should reward yourself.

I need another crown myself, but the last one I got was so re-traumatizing, I just can't seem to force myself to do this one. I'm just dealing with the pain. I even switched dentists, but can't seem to get over the hump. I finally decided to ask this dentist if he would just pull the tooth, but he won't. He gave me a referral to yet another source. Aacckkk!

In my case, I was actually abused at one point BY a dentist, so it's doubly hard.

Collette said...

So many people fear the dentist. It must be up there with fear of heights. I've never had a problem with the dentist, now heights, that's a different story.
Congrats on getting through it! I'm glad you have a dentist that you can be a little more comfortable with. (((HUGS)))

Kahless said...

Teeth - why did God have to invent them?

Well done for getting through the proceedure.

Frazzled Farm Wife said...

Wow, I guess alot of us take for granted how easy a dentist visit can be for some of us and how hard a visit to the dentist can be for some! I can't even imagine how you must have felt but I am proud of you for making it through!

MultiMe said...

This is several times now you've mentioned that the Novocaine seems to be a problem. Maybe you can talk to your dentist about alternatives to the Novocaine? I know a lot of dentists offer nitris oxide as an option - costs more, but sometimes worth it, maybe.